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Posts Tagged ‘Drift Boat’

The water is dropping and the fish are hitting. The Salmon River is at 900 cfs. This is a great level to fish from shore or a drift boat for Steelhead. The river has fish from top to bottom with most of the fishing pressure being on the top half of the river. Your best bet is drifting an egg sac or bead under a float. If you are fly fishing egg patterns such as the 3 loop pink lady(my favorite) will get the job done.

Cold weather, snow and strong winds will keep most away the next couple days. If you can handle the weather you should be rewarded with fish.

The smaller streams are also on the drop. The Sandy’s have been fishing well and and should be at good levels by now. Earlier in the week they where both still very high. After all the high water we had there are Steelhead in all the small streams. Don’t over look even the smallest of waters. If it connects to Lake Ontario there are probably fish in it. Remember though if the water is low and clear it will take a lot of stealth to get the bait to the fish before they see you.

Grindstone Creek was fishing well Tuesday and Wednesday. I fished it both days and we hooked multiple fish on each day. Unfortunately our 6 pound leaders where no match for the fish we hooked and they all got off.

If you need flies, egg sacs, hooks, sinkers, floats or anything else stop into Salmon River Sports Shop. Button will hook you up with everything you need.

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The start of Steelhead season has been very wet. With all the rain we have received the Salmon River has been running at what most consider to be high levels. Personally I prefer 750 cfs to 1800 cfs but I know most people do not.

There are two reasons I like the high water. The first is it makes running a drift boat down the Salmon River much easier as you can float about any where. The second reason is that it creates more places to fish. High water on the Salmon River changes the runs and pools enough that it actually makes more holding water for the Steelhead.

Many people are afraid of the high water because they don’t know where to find fish or they can’t see the fish. It’s not difficult. All you need to do is fish the slow water on the edge of the fast stuff. Inside seams on a corner are perfect. Another great spot is the edges of where the fast water runs into the center of a pool. If there are rapids and fast water upstream from the pool there will be a seam created on both sides of the edge of the head of the pool. This is a prime location at first and last light.

One mistake I keep talking about because I see it so often is people wading where they should be fishing. I can’t stress this enough. If you are wading over your knees you are in too far. This is especially true in times of high water. Steelhead don’t want to hang in the fast water. They will hold and rest in the slower currents on the edge of the faster water.  Make sure you are fishing these spots not wading into them. I see too many people wading out waist deep and casting into the fastest water in the river.

One last tip. Don’t be afraid to take a walk along the side streams and diversions of the Salmon River. High water makes many of these very fishable. Look for a deep pocket or long run that you can get a drift through. You may be very surprised at what you find on the end of your line in these little sections of the Salmon River.

If you still don’t feel comfortable fishing the high water hire a guide to take you down the river in a drift boat. Drift boat fishing on the Salmon River is the hands down best way in high water. You won’t be disappointed.

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Decided to go out this morning and row around to see if the Brown Trout where hitting yet. The answer was yes. We fished for one hour and 40 minutes had 4 hits and landed 3. Two nice brown trout and one very nice steelhead. The wind and waves picked up so we headed in happy with our catch.

This nice Brown Trout hit in about 9 feet of water on a Jointed Rapala

This nice Brown Trout hit in about 9 feet of water on a Jointed Rapala

A nice little Lake Ontario Brown Trout

A nice little Lake Ontario Brown Trout

A nice bonus when fishing Lake Ontario for Brown Trout.

A nice bonus when fishing Lake Ontario for Brown Trout.

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This past weekend the fishing slowed this past weekend. I believe it had to do with 2 things. One factor is the fact that the steelhead are starting to prepare for the spawn. The other was the fact that there was a big stone fly hatch this weekend with the warm weather. The snow on the banks was almost black with stone flies. They were everywhere.

We fished from Altmar to Route 2A on Saturday with only 2 fish on and landing none. On Sunday we fished the Lower Fly Zone in Altmar from 7 am to 9 am hooking 3 steelhead and landing none. One was fouled hooked so we broke it off. The other two broke the 6 pound tippet.

The water was at 900 cfs and will be through Tuesday. I am guessing there is a good chance of it going higher after that as it was 50 degrees this afternoon in Pulaski, NY. They are calling for a major change in temperature at the end of the week. There will be a serious cold snap that will slow down the run off and the river level will most likely drop.

If you are going to fish the next week egg patterns, stone flies, and streamers will all be good choices if you are fly fishing. For the spin and pin fisherman 8 mm and 6 mm beads in natural colors will be a good bet. This is a great time of year for a drift boat trip down the river allowing you to cover much more water then you would on foot. Good luck and see you on the water.

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With March here it won’t be long and it will be drop back season. After the Steelhead spawn in the Salmon River, New York they drop back down stream returning to Lake Ontario.  These fish have spent the last couple weeks spawning and need to feed heavily to regain there strength. This can be a very exciting time to fish the Salmon River.

One of the most popular ways to pursue these big hungry fish is pulling plugs from a drift boat. Lures such as hot shots and jointed Rapala’s are the most popular. I would recommend the jointed Brown Trout Rapala in size 11. This time of year you can see many of the guides rowing their drift boats through the deep holes pulling plugs.

If you want to fish plugs on the Salmon River but don’t have a drift boat or want to hire a guide there are a couple options. One is to use a small inline planner board such as a hot shot planner. These attach directly to your line and will take your lure out into the current. Depending on the brand you use you will most likely need 2 planners and switch based on what side of the river you are standing. It is always a good idea to have a couple extra in the truck just in case your line breaks and you loose one.

You will want a bait casting style reel and I would recommend using a heavy main line such as 15 pound test or a braided line. This way you will be less likely to lose your planner. You will then tie to a swivel from which you will want a 8 or 10 pound fluorocarbon leader. If the water is high (over 750 cfs) you can get away with a bit heavier leader line.  Your rod should be a 8 to 9 foot medium action casting or trolling rod.

Position yourself at the head of a pool or deep run. You will let the line out slowly keeping slight tension on it in order for the planner to work its way out into the current. Be prepared for a strike as your lure is running out into the current. Once the lure is out in the current you can let line out and reel in line to move the lure around in the hole. The other option is to let the lure hold in the current and take a step down stream every 15 to 30 seconds until the lure reaches the end of run. If you have a run to your self you should let the lure run through the hole then walk back to the top and start over with the lure further away from you.

Another option for fishing plugs on the Salmon River is to use a spinning rod and cast Rapala’s in the runs and pools. You will want to position yourself slightly upstream of where you would like to fish and cast just across just down stream of your position. Then reel your lure back to you against the current. You will want to be swinging lure across the pool. This will allow you to cover the most water possible. After you have made a few casts with out a strike take a step down stream and cast again. You will want to work the pools just as the Spey fisherman swinging flies do. You are essentially doing the same thing with a lure.  As with using a planner board you should start at the head of a pool and work your way to the tail out. This technique is especially effective for fishing slow deep pools where the planner board would be difficult to fish.

If you are unfamiliar with the Salmon River I highly recommend hiring a guide to take you down the river on a drift boat. This will allow you to learn which runs and pools hold fish this time of year. You will also see what lures the guides are using. You will likely also find that you have such a great time it is well worth the price of the guide. I have many repeat customers that feel the money it cost to hire me and use my gear is well worth it.

Weather or you choose to do it your self or hire a guide one thing is for sure, once you fish for drop back steelhead on the Salmon River you will want to come back year after year. These fish are aggressive and strike hard.  Good luck this spring and see you on the water.

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Spring had come early. The early spring brought on some excellent Brown Trout fishing in the end of March and it continued through the month of April. Now it was May and water levels were lower than they should be for that time of year. I had a guide trip booked for opening night at midnight and was worried.

I spent the day time rigging rods and shopping at Gander Mountain. I was worried with the low water I would need some different lures to put fish in the boat. I purchased multiple small jigs and smaller stick baits. Now that the boat was all set it was time to take a nap until 8 pm.

As I drove to the river I kept going over my game plan in my head. I was very nervous as I had never fished this river at this level before. As always I wanted to put my clients on good fish. They had called me because they normally fish for Walleye on Onieda Lake and wanted to catch bigger fish then what they are use to. I had told them I could put them on 6 pound plus fish and I was determined to do so.

I had asked them to meet me at 11 pm so we could get in the water in case there were other boats fishing that night. I arrived at the launch around 10 and there was no one there. I launched the drift boat and put all the gear in the boat. My clients arrived a little before 11 and there was still no one else there. We talked about fishing and hunting as we waited for legal fishing time. The season didn’t open until midnight. They had plans of Turkey hunting in the morning after we finished fishing and joked about being done in time to take a nap before hunting. Finally it was quarter to twelve and we got in the boat.

I rowed us out into the river and anchored up where we would start fishing. I then explained how the reels worked and what my plans were. At 12 am I had them put the lures out and pulled anchor. I started up the middle section of the river where I knew the water would be the deepest.  It wasn’t long before the left rod doubled over… FISH ON!!!.

I dropped anchor and netted a nice 5 pound Walleye as he brought it to the boat. We put the lures back out, pulled anchor, and started up the river again. It wasn’t more than a few minutes and I was yelling left rod left rod again. This time we brought a Walleye in the 6 pound range to the net.

Time to change the lure on the right rod. I put the same Rapala on it that was on the right rod. Normally I would run different lures but it was obvious tonight that was the lure the Walleye wanted. We started pulling the plugs again in that same fast deep section and it was game on.

At 2:30 am we put the 6th Walleye in the fish box. They had hooked 8 fish landed 7. One was not big enough to keep. In just two and half hours they had limited out with 6 fish all in the 5 to 7 pound range. They were very happy with the trip and had time to get back to camp for a nap before Turkey hunting.

Turns out there was no reason for me to be worried about this trip. I should have known that the low water was just going to stack all the fish in the one deep area on the river and they would want the same lures they always do.  To this day I still have not used that tackle I bought.

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Fished the Oswego RIver for about 4 hours. Caught 2 nice Brown Trout both while trolling yellow hotshots behind my drift boat. ImageImageImage

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In New York State Walleye season opens on the first Saturday in May. I offer trips starting that Friday night at midnight through the month of June. The first two weeks of walleye season can be some of the best fishing of the whole year. It is not uncommon for 7 to 10 pound fish to be brought to the net. Click on the picture to for more information on Walleye fishing with Wayne-o’s Guide Service.

Night time fishing for Walleye on the Black River, NY.

Night time fishing for Walleye on the Black River, NY.

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